The inspirational doctors, Cynthia and Jasmine Kudji, had a welcome surprise when they discovered they'd be finishing their medical training together.
Cynthia Kudji and her daughter Jasmine recently graduated medical school at the same time. In what is already an unusual mother/daughter record, the pair was surprised to find out that they’d be completing their residency together at the same hospital, Louisiana State University Health.
“We were so excited, our life has never been planned, and you never know what’s going to happen. It was one of the best moments of my life,” 26-year-old Jasmine shared with NBC News.
Although Cynthia arrived in the United States from her native Ghana at the age of two, it was a trip back to the African country at age 17 that spurred her to become a doctor. A stranger approached the then-young teen to ask her for help in treating her sick child. This had a life-changing impact on Cynthia, now 49, who asked herself what she could do to make a difference.
Her plans had to be put on hold when she became pregnant with Jasmine. She turned her hand to nursing and eventually, in 2006, she graduated with a master’s of science in nursing from Loyola University. Although she had a nursing career for 10 years, she still felt that earlier desire to become a doctor.
Inspired by her mom’s efforts, Jasmine decided that she, too, wanted to become a physician. So while she attended Louisiana State University School of Medicine in New Orleans, her mom furthered her medical education at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences in St. Kitts in the Caribbean.
As the women pursued their studies apart, they leaned on each other for advice, support, and encouragement. And as they join each other at Louisiana State University Health, they’ll continue to be their for each other. While Cynthia wants to pursue a career in family medicine, Jasmine will specialize in general surgery.
Their story is one of inspiration in so many ways: to inspire women to follow their professional dreams at any age; and to show the world what strength the mother/daughter bond can have in shaping each other’s future.
Cynthia has nearly reached the end of a childhood dream at a time when the medical profession has been in such demand. As a black woman who has spent decades trying to serve others, her achievement is especially inspirational.
“This is a time when physicians can be leaders, show that we contribute, we make a difference in people’s lives. This is where we get the opportunity to serve,” she explained to NBC News.